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Empty Net by Toni Aleo/Giveaway/Guest Post/Review

A Day In My Writing Life

Toni Aleo

My day starts early; midnight to be exact. I go to my job as an at home nurse and work for 8 hours. Once I am , my day really begins.


I come home and see the mess my family has made while I was gone or in my writing cave. Disgusted, I proceed to get my little people ready for school. Mikey is seven, hates getting ready for school, and would much rather watch Ben 10. Alyssa is four and would rather sleep than do anything Mommy wants.


The kids are dropped off and I head back home.


I am face down, in my bed, passed out.




Finally having had a chance to eat and ready to start my author work. I get online; check my Facebook, Twitter, blog, sales, and my reviews on Amazon, B&N, and GoodReads. After all that, I do any work that I need to do; posting or answering emails, just normal stuff.


Now, the fun stuff starts. My characters have been going nuts in my head for the past 24 hours and are ready to be written. I sit down; have my phone beside me and a tall glass of water. I look at the screen and off I go.


“I can’t stop now!”

This is what I usually scream when this time rolls around. Gotta go get the kids.


My house is nut case. Everyone is looking for dance shoes, soccer cleats, ice skates, or something else that is needed for that afternoon’s activity.


We leave for the activity. If it’s Mikey’s day, then Alyssa plays on his DS while I try to finish the chapter I started earlier. If it’s Alyssa’s, then Mike does homework while I am writing.


While dinner is being made, I am reading my last chapter, yelling at the kids to clean their rooms, do their homework, and stop fighting. Yes, in that order.


My husband comes home and everything gets louder.


We sit down for dinner.


Baths and kids go to bed. Husband and I snuggle while watching hockey or our shows.


Husband goes to bed and I continue to write.


I’ve usually fallen asleep on my keyboard.


My alarm goes off telling me to go to work and I haven’t even finished what I was doing.


Then it all starts over again!

My question to Toni is…do you ever sleep?  🙂 


Definition of an Empty Net: When a team pulls the goalie for an extra attacker, desperately seeking a goal.

Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.

She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.

Tate Odder had lost everything.

After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanly Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.

But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.

Will Audrey be the person to fill the holes in Tate’s heart, making him whole again?

Or will another player ruin everything, leaving him feeling forever like an empty net?
I will start my review with a confession…I love hockey.  Yes, I live in Texas so you would think I’d be all about football.  I do love my football but its not the same as hockey.  My first love is Baseball, hands down my first love.  Hockey is my paramour.  I used to sneak my love for hockey from my friends.  My dad took me to my first hockey game back with the Dallas North Stars first came to Dallas.  It was different than watching it on television and so much better.  When I had the opportunity to work for the Dallas Stars, I took it.  I worked all the home games and I watch them win the Stanley Cup (in Buffalo at 3 am in the morning).  Then the next year, I had to watch Scott Stevens skate the Cup in our house.  I cried my eyes out when I got home.  Couldn’t cry while I was working.  It would have been unprofessional.  Many playoff games later, I still love my hockey and the players that play.  Heck, our son is named for Brian Leetch, defensive and Team Captain for the New York Rangers back in the day.  So forgive me or just bear with me on my review.  I will be using some hockey slang…

Tate Odder reminded me of some of the hockey players that I got to know over the years.  Young, innocent and sure of themselves on the ice but not so much off the ice.  His backstory was emotional and heartbreaking but it made him who he is as a person and a player.  Besides being sexy, generous and perfect for Audrey, he had his emotions and feelings to go through.  He was a multi layered character that I sometimes don’t find in sports themed romance stories.  Great job Toni.  You made me root for him through it all.  *sigh*

Audrey is me.  No seriously, she is.  It was like I was reading about me.  My thoughts, my self doubts, my image issues.  She had real issues that she had to get through.  I mean, really a hot hockey guy liking her?  In her wildest dreams, she thinks.  After the crap she had to deal with her last relationship, I understand where Audrey was coming from.  I’ve been there, bought the t-shirt and now its a rag. 

While I enjoyed both Audrey and Tate, sometimes I did want to shake Audrey.  Sometimes the self doubt wore thin but knowing that Tate was there to help her see that she was beautiful, smart and successfull.

I completely fell in love with Audrey and Tate.  I really need to go back and read the first two books in this series.  Piper’s book should be a hoot and I can’t wait.

If you are looking for a feel good, emotional driven story with great characters, even better dialogue and a multilayered story, Empty Net is for you.

5 Harlie’s and a recommended read 



10 thoughts on “Empty Net by Toni Aleo/Giveaway/Guest Post/Review

  1. I'm tired just reading your schedule. Ugghhh I'm glad you are able to carve out time to write, edit, and participate in book tours!

    bas1chsemail at gmail dot com

  2. I like that mental image of characters going nuts in Toni's head. And Harlie, you need never feel self-conscious about being a hockey fan in the South–there have been teams there since the '70s. (Though, as a fan in CA, I get grief about being in a “non-snow” market myself.) BTW, have you ever read ZAMBONI RODEO, about minor-league hockey in TX? It's supposed to be excellent, but I've never seen it…


  3. How do you function? You definitely need more sleep! There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.


  4. WOW! And I thought I was busy! Mikey sounds so much like my Riley. He, too, is 7 and HATES getting ready for school. He prefers to watch his older brothers as well. A mother's work is never done.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

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